https://democracynow.org – “Trade wars are good, and easy to win.” That’s the message President Trump tweeted on Friday, sending shockwaves across the globe and sparking fear of impending economic volatility. On Thursday, world stock markets tumbled after Trump announced he plans to impose new tariffs on imports of foreign steel and aluminum.
As a candidate for president, Donald Trump claimed he wanted a better deal for U.S. workers. Surprise! Oh, okay, that he was lying really isn’t a surprise at all. Far from a “better deal,” the Trump administration is now offering a North American version of the Trans-Pacific Partnership.
It’s a disaster for people, the planet, democracy, and the future of the global economy.
That was the immediate assessment of informed critics as world governments, including the United States, on Thursday morning made the full text of the controversial Trans Pacific Partnership Agreement (TPP) available to the public for the first time.
democracynow – Senate Finance Committee leaders Republican Orrin Hatch and Democrat Ron Wyden are expected to introduce a “fast-track” trade promotion authority bill as early as this week that would give the president authority to negotiate the secretive Trans-Pacific Partnership trade deal and then present it to Congress for a yes-or-no vote, with no amendments allowed. On Wednesday, more than 1,000 labor union members rallied on Capitol Hill to call on Democrats to oppose “fast-track” authority. We speak with two people closely following the proposed legislation: Lori Wallach, director of Public Citizen’s Global Trade Watch, and Rep. Alan Grayson, a Democrat from Florida.
democracynow – While the two parties have plenty to fight about in the new Republican Congress, Mitch McConnell, the possible next Senate majority leader, says he shares common ground with the president on international trade. What does this mean for the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP)? We get analysis from Lori Wallach of Public Citizen’s Global Trade Watch, who notes that while some analysts say GOP gains will accelerate the passage of fast-track legislation in Congress to enable an agreement on the TPP, “it is kind of hard for the Republicans to voluntarily delegate more authority to the guy they’ve been attacking as the imperial president who grabs power that’s not his.” The controversial so-called free trade deal involves 12 countries and nearly 40 percent of the global economy. Trade ministers from the 12 countries negotiating the trade deal are due to meet in Beijing ahead of the Asia-Pacific economic summit next week to continue negotiations.
Today, 15 January 2014, WikiLeaks released the secret draft text for the entire TPP (Trans-Pacific Partnership) Environment Chapter and the corresponding Chairs’ Report. The TPP transnational legal regime would cover 12 countries initially and encompass 40 per cent of global GDP and one-third of world trade. The Environment Chapter has long been sought by journalists and environmental groups. The released text dates from the Chief Negotiators’ summit in Salt Lake City, Utah, on 19-24 November 2013.
http://www.democracynow.org – As the federal government shutdown continues, Secretary of State John Kerry heads to Asia for secret talks on a sweeping new trade deal, the Trans-Pacific Partnership. The TPP is often referred to by critics as “NAFTA on steroids,” and would establishing a free-trade zone that would stretch from Vietnam to Chile, encompass 800 million people — about a third of world trade and nearly 40 percent of the global economy.
While the text of the treaty has been largely negotiated behind closed doors and until June, kept secret from Congress, more than 600 corporate advisors reportedly have access to the measure, including employees of Halliburton, and Monsanto. “This is not mainly about trade,” says Lori Wallach, director of Public Citizen’s Global Trade Watch. “It is a corporate trojan horse. The agreement has 29 chapters, and only five of them have to do with trade. The other 24 chapters either handcuff our domestic governments — limiting food safety, environmental standards, financial regulation, energy and climate policy — or establishing new powers for corporations.”
On this episode of Breaking the Set, Abby Martin talks to Lori Wallach, director of Global Trade Watch at Public Citizen about why the TPP trade negotiations remain so secretive, and the dangerous implications this international agreement has on the rest of us.